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India, 10 South-east Asian countries decided to set up fund for health emergencies in region

Sep 11, 2016 09:48 IST

India along with 10 other member countries of WHO's South-East Asian Regional Committee on 9 September 2016 decided to set up a dedicated fund aimed at building preparedness for health emergencies in the region.

The joint funding stream will be established under the South-East Asia Regional Health Emergency Fund (SEARHEF).

The decision was made at the 69th session of WHO Regional Committee Meeting held at Colombo, Sri Lanka. The decision would help the member countries to invest in human resources and infrastructure at times of emergencies, as it is one of the most disaster-prone regions.

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In addition, the member countries also passed a resolution for promoting physical activity and expanding health workforces across the region. Insufficient physical activity is a major contributor to rising rates of non-communicable diseases in the region, with four-fifth of adolescents not getting enough of it.

In the recent years, earthquakes, cyclones and floods have caused health emergencies in south-east Asian region and it has also been threatened by a range of emerging diseases, including SARS, MERS CoV, pandemic influenza and Zika virus.

WHO South-East Asia region committee comprises 11 member states namely Bangladesh, Bhutan, South Korea, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Thailand and Timor-Leste.

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